Nat Raum is a queer multimedia artist working primarily with photography, creative writing, and bookmaking. They graduated from the BFA Photography program at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2018 with a studio concentration in book arts. They are currently based in Baltimore, MD.
Nat’s artwork primarily explores their relationship with their body and the world around them following their past sexual trauma. They are also interested in the intersection between sexuality, anxiety… more
The Light Won't Find You
I found comfort in myself and in my own body for the first time in years when I began to question my gender. These images explore my changing relationship with my gender and sexuality following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of my most recent romantic relationship. They follow me through the process of healing, reflecting, and beginning to define my identity.
Creating these images is a form of escapism; in depicting my personal utopia, I distance myself from a reality in which I am largely closeted and often performing a version of femininity that was engrained in me as a result of past trauma. I strive for the images to feel vernacular, and as such, I am removing a lot of the technical precision I usually employ in my work. The experience of redefining my gender has been surreal and imperfect, and I aim to mirror that in the images I create. By creating hazy, dreamlike images, I feel as though I depict the feeling of existing in this personal utopia. This includes a combination of imagery from locations including my bedroom, my childhood home, and my grandmother’s house, as well as the city in which I grew up and continue to reside.
October Is Heavy
Finding myself increasingly obsessed with documenting the physical manifestations of a state of mind, I began ruminating on the words “waver” and “quiver”. In a manic state, I penned a poem. There is no criteria for the images in this collection other than having been created in the same state of mind in which the poem was written, and as such, the images serve as an extension of that initial feeling. I constantly search for the words to articulate what is happening inside my head during a manic state and have found "chaotic neutral" to be the best descriptor. I seek out the parts of the world around me that feel just odd enough to be true. The images represent a distorted reality not unlike that encountered in a dream. Upon closer reflection, the series is a testament to my personal romanticization of the dream state and the strange, ephemeral experience of dreaming. I look at real life as the dream, and I preserve moments of everyday ephemerality. In short, Waver/Quiver is simply a documentation of a chaotic neutral reality, or an extended real-life fever dream, if you will.
The artist book was printed in an edition of 50 in August 2019 with Fifth Wheel Press.